Should democracy always have the last word? (letter)by Matthew BuckleyNews Weekly
, February 7, 2009
I must disagree with John Elsegood's assertion ("US battle to preserve traditional marriage", News Weekly
, December 6, 2008) that the state referendums in America rejecting same-sex "marriage" are a "copybook example of democracy working".
The concept of right and wrong is antecedent to democracy (or to any form of government), not something one is free to determine by vote.
While in our situation we unfortunately have to do our best in defeating such measures lest a bad situation worsens, it is disastrous to use as an argument the claim that this is "democracy at work".
It is in fact tyranny of the majority.
What if the vote had gone the other way, which it did on other key moral issues in some of the other American states?
Would we simply accept this as "democracy at work" or what it really is: the doctrine of popular sovereignty?
While deciding such things in this fashion has become a way of life for us, we should never confuse this with genuine democracy founded on the immutable principles of natural law.Matthew Buckley,